After cardiovascular stabilization and during an uncomplicated course minor pain may be well tolerated. In these patients effective pain treatment can easily be achieved during the later course.

There are no validated objective indices for evaluating the quality of analgesia in mechanically ventilated patients. In non-ventilated patients visual or verbal analog scales are useful tools for guiding pain therapy. Clinically, a five-point verbal scale gives sufficient information. Such a scale may also be used in intubated but co-operative patients.

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